My GW2K Handbook 486
|Demensions:|| (W x D x H) 9.75 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
|Weight:|| 2.9 lbs with batery (it will not even work without the battery)
|Keyboard:|| 78 keys, 94% scale emulates AT keyboard
|Screen:|| Blacklit black negative FSTN, 640 x 480 VGA Resolution 7.8" diag
|Graphics Mode:|| VGA Grey scale
|Cash:|| a whole whopping 8k in CPU
|BIOS:|| password and good power management
|RAM:|| 80ns 3.3V DRAM (4,8,16,20M) 16Meg ~ $69.00
|PCMCIA:|| one tyoe II slot
|Battery:|| 220mAh NiMH rechargable good for ~2 hrs
|I/O Ports:|| one serial and one parallel (the parallel is also used to access the floppy)
|Floppy:|| 1.44M external interfaces through the ~parallel interface
|Pointing Device:|| little stick on the side (see picture above, mine does not have the rubber cover to the stick because it is crumbling away)
|Power Supply:|| plugs into the battery (so you can charge the battery up while using another or just to charge it up w/o the laptop
This is a working XF86config file (640x480) for the handbook 486 with the VGA 16 X server
- I have not tried the PC Speaker driver for linux yet but there is one for Windoze as described below.
Distrobutions of Linux
- I was using the debian
distribution of linux. It works fine, and i did not have any problems with
it. Their "dselect" program for installing packages works good.
- Redhat did not install
due to the low amount of memory that the handbook had (mabe it was a 5.1
issue), but after upgrading my ram to 20Meg I got it to install. Redhat also
takes more space to install than you can fit on the hard drive that came with
the Handbook, that was fixed too. I changed to redhat because i was helping
other people install redhat and i had to conform ;) ( i realy got tired of
trying to remember where all of the /etc stuff was, and then bickering about
what should be where, that kind of stuff :)
Monkey/Mini Linux and
Dragon Linux: These work fine except for the Xserver. The one that is
installed is the SVGA server. You need to get the VGA16 or VGA server (some
of these distrobutions are still using libc5) go
to get the VGA server and replace the SVGA server with it (relinking X to the
correct server, or just delete the SVGA server and rename the VGA one to the
SVGA one, quick and dirty :) You might have a different version than the one
that I am linking to. To quickly figure it out type in this "X -bpp 4" and X
will puke, do a SHIFT*SCROLL_UP to see the version printed out at the top.
That is the version number that you go to from here
and the path from the version should be "binaries/Linux-ix86-libc5/Servers/XVG16.tgz".
Things to note:
- I have found that the apm bios does not work to the apm spec.
Like the battery meter and suspend mode, almost everything.
Linux barfs when it tries to turn off the backlight.
I have recently found a fix for the kernel.
The APM problem seems to be from the fact that this machine does not
like to be idled, even though it is a battery powered notebook.
Apm also does not get configured, because power management is "disengaged."
I'm not sure what this means, but it prevents all the other apm features
from working. In particular, I'd still like the disk to sync on suspend,
and the clock to be updated on resume.
is a undocumentented change that I got from a persons email in an
archive (from whom I got the text above; by the way if you DID write this
please email me to let me know if I can put your email address on this
page for reference)
- Pretty much installing Linux was not a choir for this laptop the pcmcia
driver was a default driver and the XF86Config you can get above.
- If you still have the hard drive in it that you got it with, SNICKER,
replace it with a BIGGER one (it can be any STANDARD 12.7mm, or smaller,
laptop IDE harddrive; go to
and look in the Notebook Drives section). It is a fairly
simple task. I will try to get a picture
of the process; it was built to swing open and be easily accessible even
though it does not look like it would be upgradeable. The hard drive that
I put in is a normal 12.7mm TOSHIBA 1926FCV 777MB w/ 128KB cache 1685/15/63
hard drive, the BIOS recognized it right without any problem (after I ran the
file, this means you have to have a little dos partition or a boot disk that
you do not want to loose) One person that has emailed me put a 4Gig HD in this
little thing (that is halarious)
UPDATE: I put my 20G drive from my Dell Inspinron 3800 in it (IBM-DJSA-220 (20004 MB)
w/1874KiB Cache, CHS=2432/255/63) and it seems to work ok (the Handbook complained that
its BIOS software was not on the HD and i did not want to worry about corrupting
my disk, fdisk, from win 98, shows my partition tables correctly, but i was not able to
boot from lilo. when i can get my hands on one that i dont care about i will try a little
bit harder to get it up and running)
NOTE: both DOS's fdisk and the system bios do not recognize the HD above 503MB.
Use linux's fdisk or RedHat's disk druid when you are installing/repartitioning
- Here is a kernel .config file
that will minimize the memory used by killing all of the stuff that you do not
need. You can use this as a base .config file for your kernel to compile
(just put it in the /usr/src/linux directory)
- I just upgraded the RAM in my Handbook to 20MB with a 16MB module,
there is 4MB on the motherboard. I bought it at accessmicro for ~$69
(don't laugh at me because there is a noticable difference) Check Resources
below for places that sell RAM
- So Far i have healped 42 people with their Handbook 486 Laptops, so
don't hesitate to email me.
- Here is a place that sells the floppy drive, battery, and memory.
- Ok I am runing my little
pricewatch.com here, so I will just link the places and not reference
the price :)
||What they have
||How to get at it
||Memory, Battery, Floppy Drive, Mouse pointer cover, Keyboard replacement, AC Adapter
||Click on "486 Laptops" and then on "Handbook"
||just go to the "Memory Products" and Gateway2000 (16MB item number
113995368, last time I checked)
||Memory, Battery, CMOS Battery
||Go to the "Click Here To Find Upgrades and All Other Peripherals for
Your Laptop, Notebook, Palmtop, and HandHeld Computer", "Gateway", then
"Gateway Handbook 486"
For Sale: Here is a guy that is making the floppy cable
and the parallel port adapter.
Floppy cable $45
Parallel Port Adapter $25
- Windows 95 CD install (over a parallel cable)
you can install the 95b version using intrlnk and intrsvr (get you a
get one of those parallel data transfer cables (or serial if you want,
i think a null modem cable will do) and attach your computers togeather
on your Desktop, in DOS (not windows) type:
intersvr x: /lpt1
where x is your cdrom drive... (issues with this are discussed later)
or /com1 if you are using a serial cable (on com1)
on your laptop, in the config.sys file
DEVICE=C:\dos\interlnk.exe /noprinter /v /auto
reboot your laptop (you can even do this on a boot floppy if you want,
as long as the interlnk program and this config.sys file is on that disk)
the server should recognize that something is connected to it
in DOS on your laptop change to the redirected drive. you will see on the
server what the client drives look like in relation to the server drives.
do a "dir" and make sure that you can see the "setup.exe" program:
type in "setup"
then you might have a problem with your CDROM driver.
make sure that your DOS cdrom driver is installed (usually windows
does this when you exit into DOS mode)
if you still cant get it working:
You can then just copy the whole 95 cd on to your desktop machine
and when you repeat this process, just go to that directory and
execute the "setup" program
If you have any problems just let me know
- Windoze 95/98/... tidbit: if you get this pc
speaker driver, you can listen to wav's on your Handbook (or any other
PC or laptop with an internal pc speaker).
1. go to add new hardware
2. dont let windows search for the hardware, select the sound, video,game controllers icon
3. click on have disk and open the "oemsetup.inf" file in the speaker.zip (make sure that
the speaker.drv is in the same dir)
4. select the PC speaker controller from the driver window
5. set the properties to your likeing
- DOS DRIVERS: go here
and get them. The PCMCIA driver is the "Socket Services" link on the bottom,
on its page it is the last driver down. The BIOS and Memory programs are
Pinout fot the Parallel converter
|Parallel Connector||Handbook Connector|
Handbook Proprietary Connector|
(looking at the adaptor not the Handbook)
(HONDA "PCR E28FS")
This is the pinout of the AC connector looking at the cord NOT THE LAPTOP! (the diagram is also on the AC adapter)
Linux on Laptops Hamepage
The fine print: This page contains tips and hints regarding the use of
Linux on a Gateway 2000 Handbook 486. This information is provided in the hopes
that it will be useful; however, I make NO WARRANTY WHATSOEVER as to its
effectiveness or accuracy (though i accept HUMBLE criticism).
This page is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the Gateway 2000 Corporation.